Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Orzo Artichoke Salad

I have been pondering about life lately.
This week I started to follow Jennie on twitter.  In the last week, her Pie-for-Mikey post inspired so many food bloggers to make Creamy Peanut Butter Pie to share with love ones.  You see, Jennie recently lost her husband from heart attack, and the pie is her way of telling us to treasure every moment with the ones we love.  I did not make the pie because I have diabetes tendencies but the significance of making it made me hold my family tighter and dearer.  That day when I read Jennie's post I was snapped out of wanting to give my husband cold shoulders for something he did wrong.  It made me aware of the importance of being together and enjoying life as a family.  It made me think of how important it is to take care of our health - for the sake of ourselves, our spouse, our child, those that love us.  Reading through Jennie's words, I just can't imagine the grief of such loss ( I pray for her strength and courage).
Most importantly it made me realize how life is so fragile.  That we are nothing apart from the Creator who breathe life into us.  So I also realized how important it is to entrust everything to God, and to invoke His presence in our lives each and every minute.

So instead of the pie, I made this Orzo Artichoke Salad.  It was an easy recipe but I was pressed for time when I made it.  I just wanted to make it to yoga class without sacrificing a good dinner to spend with my family.  It was made with love.

Orzo Artichoke Salad
Serves 4 (as a side dish)

1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
1 12 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 cup kalamata olives (or black olives) drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Feta cheese (optional)

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook al dente according to package directions; drain. 
Drain artichoke hearts, reserving liquid.
In large bowl combine pasta, artichoke hearts, tomato, cucumber, onion, olives, parsley, lemon juice, oregano and lemon pepper. Toss and chill for 1 hour in refrigerator.
Just before serving, drizzle reserved artichoke marinade over salad.

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